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'Express lane to death': Texas seeks approval to speed up death penalty appeals, execute more quickly

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Texas is seeking to speed up executions with a renewed request to opt-in to a federal law that would shorten the legal process and limit appeals options for death-sentenced prisoners.
Defense attorneys worry it would lead to the execution of innocent people and - if it's applied retroactively, as Texas is requesting - it could potentially end ongoing appeals for a number of death row prisoners and make them eligible for execution dates.
"Opt-in would speed up the death penalty treadmill exponentially," said Kathryn Kase, an longtime defense attorney and former executive director of Texas Defender Services.
But a state attorney general spokeswoman framed the request to the Justice Department as a necessary way to avoid "stressful delays" and cut down on the "excessive costs" of lengthy federal court proceedings.
Robbie Kaplan, co-founder of the #TimesUp movement, says sweeping changes to laws in recent years have dissuaded attorneys from taking on har…

At least 3 Filipinos await execution in China over drug-related offenses

Rodrigo Duterte
At least 3 Filipinos are awaiting their death execution in China over drug-related offenses, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said yesterday.

At yesterday's House Committee on Appropriations briefing on the DFA's proposed P16.63 billion budget for 2017, he said "2 or 3" Filipinos are facing death penalty in China for illegal drugs.

"In Indonesia, we have 1. In China, 2 to 3 (Filipinos) are facing death sentence. They have not been scheduled for execution," he told the lawmakers.

The government is flexing its muscles to spare the life of Mary Jane Veloso, who was apprehended in 2010 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia upon her arrival from Malaysia for transporting 2.6 kilograms of heroin concealed in her luggage.

She was given a temporary reprieve on the eleventh hour by Indonesian President Joko Widodo last year after the previous Aquino government asked the Indonesian government that she be first allowed to provide testimonial evidence against her alleged human trafficker in a Philippine criminal case.

Source: tempo.com.ph, August 30, 2016

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